Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Iran Seeks More Centrifuges

ABC News is reporting that they received a copy of a "non-paper" that served as they basis of the recent discussions between the EU3 and Iran in London:
The paper, entitled "General Framework for Objective Guarantees, Firm Guarantees and Firm Commitments." ...

Iran's proposal outlines a series of steps that would both advance its nuclear program and purportedly assure the world of its peaceful intentions. Among these are the installation of 3,000 centrifuges at Natanz (located between Isfahan and Kashan in central Iran), and the near-term resumption of work at Esfahan, where Iran maintains a facility for the conversion of uranium ore to hexafluoride (UF6), the gas used in centrifuge enrichment.
Why 3,000 centrifuges?
Currently, the pilot scale enrichment facility at Natanz is designed to accommodate some 1,000 centrifuges, of which 164 have been fully installed. According to Corey Hinderstein, deputy director of the Institute for Science and International Security, the 3,000 centrifuges would form a single building block of a much larger cascade of 50,000 centrifuges that Iran has stated its intends to build one day.

This centrifuge "block" would be installed in underground "halls" at Natanz and give Iran a significant enrichment capability -- enough to produce enough high enriched uranium for two to three bombs per year, according to ISIS, as well as critical experience in operating an enrichment facility.